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Guest (n/a)     15 November 2008

What is Narco-Analysis Test?

What is Narco-Analysis Test that is conducted on the accused persons which we come across in papers daily ?


 8 Replies

veenzar (Advocate)     15 November 2008

Recently police officials in some countries including India have turned to drugs for assistance in extracting confessions from accused persons, drugs, which are presumed to relax the individual’s defenses to the point that he  unknowingly reveals truths, he has been trying to conceal. In India, where drugs have gained only marginal acceptance in police work, their use has provoked cries of “psychological third degree” and precipitated medico-legal controversies on one hand and has proved to be a scientific method of interrogation on the other hand.

This technique of using drugs for the purpose of investigation is called as “Narcoanalysis Test” also known as the “Truth Serum test”. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word narcoanalysis had its origin in the 20th century and is coined from ‘narco-’ + ‘analysis’. It means psychoanalysis using drugs

to induce a state akin to sleep.

Prakash Yedhula (Lawyer)     15 November 2008

 It is believed that if a person is administered a drug which suppresses his reasoning power without affecting memory and speech, he can be made to tell

the truth. Some drugs have been found to create this ‘twilight state’ in some persons. These drugs are being administered in some countries including India. The term narcoanalysis was introduced in 1936 for the use of narcotics to induce a trance like state wherein the person is subjected to various queries. Under the influence of the drug, the subject talks freely and is purportedly deprived of his self-control and will power to manipulate his answers. The underlying theory is that a person is able to lie by using his

imagination. In the narcoanalysis test, the subject’s imagination is neutralized and reasoning faculty affected by making him semi-conscious. The subject is not in a position to speak up on his own but can answer specific and simple questions. In this state it becomes difficult for him to lie and his answers

would be restricted to facts he is already aware of. His answers are spontaneous as a semi-conscious person is unable to manipulate his answers.

Truth serums (or sera) are no serum at all. They are drugs sometimes used clinically. A few of the bestknown drugs are Seconal, Hyoscine (scopolamine), Sodium Pentothal, Sodium Amytal, Phenobarbital. Most commonly used drug for truth serum test is an anesthetic and sedative drug, Soduium Pentothal

which when administered intravenously can make a person garrulous and confessional. Injected in continuous small dosages it has a hypnotizing effect on a person whop responds loquaciously when questioned.

The narcoanalysis test is conducted by mixing 3 grams of Sodium Pentothal or Sodium Amytal dissolved in 3000 ml of distilled water. Depending on the person’s s*x, age, health and physical condition, this mixture is administered intravenously along with 10% of dextrose over a period of 3 hours with the help

of an anaesthetist. Wrong dose can send the subject into coma or even result in death. The rate of administration is controlled to drive the accused slowly into a hypnotic trance. The effect of the biomolecules on the bio-activity of an individual is evident as the drug depresses the central nervous system,

lowers blood pressure and slows the heart rate, putting the subject into a hypnotic trance resulting in a lack of inhibition. The subject is then interrogated by the investigating agencies in the presence of the doctors. The revelations made during this stage are recorded both in video and audio cassettes. The report prepared by the experts is what is used in the process of collecting evidence. This procedure is conducted in government hospitals after a court order is passed instructing the doctors or hospital authorities to conduct the test. Personal consent of the subject is also required. 

Rajendran Nallusamy (Advocate)     15 November 2008

Is narco-analysis test reliable?

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     16 November 2008

Well explained by Veenzar and Prakash.

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     16 November 2008

To rely on Narco-Analysis Test depends on the wisdom of the judge.

Shree. ( Advocate.)     16 November 2008

Although inhibitions are generally reduced, people under the influence of truth serums are still able to lie and even tend to fantasise.

Adv.Shine Thomas (Advocate)     16 November 2008

Narco-analysis test is not reliable without further corroboration.

Prakash Yedhula (Lawyer)     18 November 2008

 Narco Analysis Test is relevant in terror cases: HC

Amidst criticism over subjecting accused persons to Narco Analysis Test, the Delhi High court has upheld its validity stating that the test is essential in view of growing terrorism related cases and heinous crimes.


"The use of Narco Analysis is of particular relevance in the context of terrorism related cases, conspiracy to commit murder and other serious offences where the investigating agencies do not have vital leads," said Justice Manmohan in a recent judgement.


"In my opinion the Narco Analysis Test does not suffer from any constitutional infirmity as it is a step in aid of investigation and any self-incriminatory statement, if made by the accused, cannot be used or relied upon by the prosecution," observed the court and asked a man, accused of murder of his own nephew, to undergo the test within a period of two months.


"Having regard to the proliferation of crimes against society, it is necessary to keep in mind the necessity of society at large and the need of a thorough and proper investigation against individual rights while ensuring that the constitutional rights are not infringed," the judgement further said.


Clarifying that the test cannot be used as sole evidence to convict the accused, the court said the test is only meant to assist and aid the investigation.


The court made it clear that the test should be conducted at the instance of a police officer not less than the rank below a Sub-Inspector.


A prior permission of the concerned criminal court has to be obtained and the court would grant permission if the investigating agency's request is reasonable in the facts and circumstances of the case, the court added.

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